Z-Type Creator Talks about How He Got the Idea for this Fun Game
Article by George Norman
On 15 Feb 2011
Z-Type is the fun space shoot’em up game that won the Community Choice Award as part of the Game On 2010 competition launched by Mozilla. Out of the 124 games that were showcased on the Game On Gallery, out of the 35 games that were selected to be Game On Finalists, the community picked Z-Type as their favorite game.

I’ve said it before and I am going to say this again: I love this game. It is fun, it looks good, and it is educational. In the game you control a space ship and you have to fight off waves of enemies come towards you. Instead of moving the ship left and right, up and down, clicking the mouse button to shoot and picking up bonuses, you have to type to destroy the enemies.


When an enemy ship appears on the screen, you will see a word next to it – something like driven for example. Type d-r-i-v-e-n and you will see that your ship will destroy the enemy ship. Once you’re done typing the word the enemy ship is completely destroyed.

To sum it up, I love this game because it can be played inside the browser, because it looks good, and because it puts my typing skills to the test.

Mozilla Labs got in touch with Dominic Szablewski, the one who came up with the Z-Type and found out how he got the idea for the game. Here’s what Szablewski said:

“Z-Type was specifically created for Mozilla’s Game On. I immediately wanted to participate in the competition when I first heard of it, but the deadline seemed so far away that I didn’t bother to begin working on a game back then. Fast forward to this tweet announcing that the deadline was only one week away – it took me by surprise. I still hadn’t even began working on anything. The thought of just submitting my earlier game Biolab Disaster crossed my mind but was immediately dismissed again.

Because time was short, I decided to create an open ended arcade game where you shoot for the highscore. A game like Tetris that just gets faster and faster the longer you survive. A game where I wouldn’t have to design multiple levels or write a story.

I enjoyed Crimsonland’s Type-o-Shooter mode back in 2003 and recently discovered Typing of the Dead. And while many JavaScript and Flash Apps out there test your typing speed, they make no attempt of being a game. So I set out to fill that void with Z-Type.

Although the games don’t look or play alike, the name Z-Type is an homage to the classic space shooter R-Type – but with a Z! Because Z is a really cool letter.”

Szablewski talked about other Z-Type related topics. You can find out what else Szablewski had to say here.

Tags: Z-Type, PhobosLab, Dominic Szablewski, Game On 2010, Mozilla, Games
About the author: George Norman
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